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Old 06-10-2019, 11:40 PM #1
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Vivid Racing VR Tune 4Runner Results

Posting this to get others to share their VR Tune experience. Installed the Stage 1 VR Tune on my stock 2018 4Runner Limited. This post is to share VR Tune results, not to talk about other unrelated upgrades or folks having a negative opinion without trying. Installed my Stage 1 VRTune a couple of months back and have about 1,000 miles of highway and 500 miles of city driving experience. Here are my subjective findings based on my previous experiences driving a 2007 V8 Triton Ford Explorer and our 2015 Lexus Gx V8.

The 4Runner factory lacks pedal response and in addition once you step it down you hear a lot of noise but there is no power band beyond 2,500 RPMs and it continues to show a lack power through shifts to redline. My first attempt at addressing this was a Pedal Commander which essentially adjusts the sensitivity of the gas pedal, loved it by the way. I found a new sense of confidence however the +2,500 RPM continued to lack as expected. After running the Pedal Commander I decided to give the VR Tune a try.

Contacted them and the process was easy. They shipped a DIM Sport tuner to pull the ID file in which I used their website to request a tune of “more power please”. They provided a new file and with their instructions 20 minutes (slow and careful) I had the tune installed. After 1,500 miles of combined highway and city here are my observations.

1. Lack of pedal sensitivity not as apparent as there is more power; as much I sold my Pedal Commander on eBay

2. Shifts remain sound and acceleration without as many downshifts; overall more driving confidence, enough to say I can actually accelerate to 60 MPH slowly with the ECO light on (could never before unless you had 5 minutes)

3. 2nd and 3rd gear from normal driving through redline pulls much better, thumbs up!

4. Overall in town drivability much better, more comparable to the Lexus Gx

5. Highway has about 50% less down shifts on minor hills and when downshifting it goes back into final drive sooner

6. Overall City and Highway gas mileage is about .5 MPG better, of course if your are hard on the brakes and/or WOT you will use more gas with a Tune; here is what I am seeing in my Limited stock:

-230 miles highway 77 MPH; 45 degrees, rain and 25 MPH head wind – 17 MPG
-230 miles highway 77 MPH; 60 degrees, no wind – 19.8 MPG
-230 miles highway 77 MPH; 90 degrees 30 MPH cross wind/some tail – 20 MPG
-230 miles highway 77 some 80 MPH; 70 degrees 15 MPH tail wind – 21.8 MPG
-Overall city < 10 mile trips overall – 16 MPG

The tradeoff is cost; the cost for the tuner, the tune, and the requirement for 91 octane. Out of the gate $700 and on-going an extra $25 cents a gallon for gas (slight offset with 2.5% better mileage). Not looking back at the costs, as someone whom has 150,000 miles of body on frame V8 driving experience the 4Runner now has an acceptable level of acceleration and confidence.

Last edited by fugereb; 06-13-2019 at 11:51 AM. Reason: Refocus on Tune Results
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:27 PM #2
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:31 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fugereb View Post
Posting this to get others to share their VR Tune experience on my 2018 4Runner Limited, not to talk about other unrelated upgrades or folks having a negative opinion without trying. Installed my Stage 1 VRTune a couple of months back and have about 1,000 miles of highway and 500 miles of city driving experience. Here are my subjective findings based on my previous experiences driving a 2007 V8 Triton Ford Explorer and our 2015 Lexus Gx V8.

The 4Runner factory lacks pedal response and in addition once you step it down you hear a lot of noise but there is no power band beyond 2,500 RPMs and it continues to show a lack power through shifts to redline. My first attempt at addressing this was a Pedal Commander which essentially adjusts the sensitivity of the gas pedal, loved it by the way. I found a new sense of confidence however the +2,500 RPM continued to lack as expected. After running the Pedal Commander I decided to give the VR Tune a try.

Contacted them and the process was easy. They shipped a DIM Sport tuner to pull the ID file in which I used their website to request a tune of “more power please” and also remove the speed limiter. They provided a new file and with their instructions 20 minutes (slow and careful) I had the tune installed. After 1,500 miles of combined highway and city here are my observations.

1. Lack of pedal sensitivity not as apparent as there is more power; as much I sold my Pedal Commander on eBay

2. Shifts remain sound and acceleration without as many downshifts; overall more driving confidence, enough to say I can actually accelerate to 60 MPH slowly with the ECO light on (could never before unless you had 5 minutes)

3. 2nd and 3rd gear from normal driving through redline pulls much better, thumbs up!

4. Overall in town drivability much better, more comparable to the Lexus Gx

5. Highway has about 50% less down shifts on minor hills and when downshifting it goes back into final drive sooner

6. Overall City and Highway gas mileage is about .5 MPG better, of course if your are hard on the brakes and/or WOT you will use more gas with a Tune; here is what I am seeing in my Limited stock:

-230 miles highway 77 MPH; 45 degrees, rain and 25 MPH head wind – 17 MPG
-230 miles highway 77 MPH; 60 degrees, no wind – 19.8 MPG
-230 miles highway 77 MPH; 90 degrees 30 MPH cross wind/some tail – 20 MPG
-230 miles highway 77 some 80 MPH; 70 degrees 15 MPH tail wind – 21.8 MPG
-Overall city < 10 mile trips overall – 16 MPG

The tradeoff is cost; the cost for the tuner, the tune, and the requirement for 91 octane. Out of the gate $700 and on-going an extra $25 cents a gallon for gas (slight offset with 2.5% better mileage). Not looking back at the costs, as someone whom has 150,000 miles of body on frame V8 driving experience the 4Runner now has an acceptable level of acceleration and confidence.
So the physical tuner is a hard cost? Can't ship it back for a refund?
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:33 PM #4
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No dyno?
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:46 PM #5
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No offense but this seems like a really expensive pedal commander. Save 500, keep your warranty, and pick up a PC second hand

This seems like a good way of getting away from one of the best things that makes a toyota special... factory reliability. Too invasive for my taste but interesting to see what people come up with. Glad it's not my truck. Sounds like you should sell the runner and get another GX and call it a day.

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Originally Posted by fugereb View Post
There is no power band beyond 2,500 RPMs and it continues to show a lack power through shifts to redline.
I have yet to have an issue. Sport + on the pedal commander and if I need it to go fast the skinny pedal eats carpet. I find the PC cleans up the shift points satisfactorily and it's nice to switch to stock when it's technical (finer control at low speed).

It goes plenty it's a chonker of a V6. You just have to be a tad more aggressive with the pedal then a lot of other vehicles. It's heavy and yes the mapping works against you a bit but I've had no quantifiable issues (realistic expectations of a V6 in a body on frame truck helps).

Last edited by Mutant138; 06-12-2019 at 09:47 AM. Reason: Sounds less antagonistic and more social :D
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:24 PM #6
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No offense but this seems like a really expensive pedal commander. Save 500, keep your warranty, and pick up a PC second hand
Except that the pedal commander is just playing man-in-the-middle for the throttle pedal, where-as a tune is a full ignition and fuel re-map (and a transmission control unit flash as well?). I don't know anything about the capabilities of the 4Runner ECU or TCU but you're going to get better results with a full tune as opposed to a little piggy-back device
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:02 PM #7
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Maybe try something like a Gtech pro or similar and post improvements in trap times. You may need to go to the scales for an accurate weight first but this may be cheaper than finding a decent 4 wheel dyno.

Seat of the pants generally is just that...Sometimes noise and minor adjustments make a vehicle seem faster but it isnt always.

Anybody put the Tundra 5.7L in yet? That would solve all our problems!
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:06 PM #8
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IMO, no sense in getting on the dyno if you didn't do it before the flash.

Required 91 usage would be a deal breaker for me in CA. Gas is too expensive right now.

VR really does a good job with flashes. It would be worth the money if it changed some of the shift points in the trans alone.
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:34 PM #9
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And for myself it makes no sense using a box tune when you can custom tune on a dyno and get better results.
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:59 PM #10
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People do all kinds of things to their Runners, for all kinds of reasons. What I'm curious about is this: why remove the speed limiter? If I'm not mistaken, your truck and mine are limited to 114 MPH. Do you drive that fast? Would you drive faster if you could?
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Old 06-12-2019, 03:31 PM #11
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Quote:
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People do all kinds of things to their Runners, for all kinds of reasons. What I'm curious about is this: why remove the speed limiter? If I'm not mistaken, your truck and mine are limited to 114 MPH. Do you drive that fast? Would you drive faster if you could?
I may have touched near 100 once. I have no interest in being up there in the 4Runner. It's downright dangerous and irresponsible.
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:40 PM #12
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Thanks for the most realistic awesome review.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:08 PM #13
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People do all kinds of things to their Runners, for all kinds of reasons. What I'm curious about is this: why remove the speed limiter? If I'm not mistaken, your truck and mine are limited to 114 MPH. Do you drive that fast? Would you drive faster if you could?
Why would you not want the option of going over 114? The 4runner is easy to drive, even at speed. Likes to cruise at 95 on the long haul if your not careful. Never drive faster then you can see. If I need to drive 150 mph I want that option and could care less what a coffee shop hipster has to say about it, because if I'm driving that fast it's for a reason.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:28 PM #14
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Why would you not want the option of going over 114? The 4runner is easy to drive, even at speed. Likes to cruise at 95 on the long haul if your not careful. Never drive faster then you can see. If I need to drive 150 mph I want that option and could care less what a coffee shop hipster has to say about it, because if I'm driving that fast it's for a reason.
um... park the runner and get out the vette then.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:34 PM #15
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um... park the runner and get out the vette then.
Not always an option. It's a free country if one can afford it. Nanny state can go...pleasure itself!
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